B-Side Wins Again

sadchild

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Mar 28, 2016
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I mentioned in another thread it would be cool to have a list of songs which were originally B-sides that became the bigger hit. I had a small list started in a text file, so I'll start with those.

PS - Thread title is a reference to this

Bill Haley & His Comets
1954
A: "Thirteen Women"
B: "Rock Around The Clock" US #1

Champs
1958
A: "Train To Nowhere"
B: "Tequila" US #1

Surfaris
1963
A: "Surfer Joe" US #62.... one month after the success of the b-side
B: "Wipe Out" US #2

Righteous Brothers
1965
A: "Hung On You" US #47.... one week after the b-side peaked
B: "Unchained Melody" US #4

Steam
1969
A: "Sweet Laura Lee"
B: "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" US #1

Bill Withers
1971
A: "Harlem"
B: "Ain't No Sunshine" US #3

Gary Glitter
1972
A: "Rock And Roll Part 1"
B: "Rock And Roll Part 2" US #7

Gloria Gaynor
1978
A: "Substitute"
B: "I Will Survive" US #1

Salt N Pepa
1987
A: "Tramp"
B: "Push It" US #19

Vanilla Ice
1990
A: "Play That Funky Music" US #4 .... three months after the success of the b-side
B: "Ice Ice Baby" US #1
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

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Oct 11, 2008
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I mentioned in another thread it would be cool to have a list of songs which were originally B-sides that became the bigger hit. I had a small list started in a text file, so I'll start with those.

PS - Thread title is a reference to this

Bill Haley & His Comets
1954
A: "Thirteen Women"
B: "Rock Around The Clock" US #1

Champs
1958
A: "Train To Nowhere"
B: "Tequila" US #1

Surfaris
1963
A: "Surfer Joe" US #62.... one month after the success of the b-side
B: "Wipe Out" US #2

Righteous Brothers
1965
A: "Hung On You" US #47.... one week after the b-side peaked
B: "Unchained Melody" US #4

Steam
1969
A: "Sweet Laura Lee"
B: "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" US #1

Bill Withers
1971
A: "Harlem"
B: "Ain't No Sunshine" US #3

Gary Glitter
1972
A: "Rock And Roll Part 1"
B: "Rock And Roll Part 2" US #7

Gloria Gaynor
1978
A: "Substitute"
B: "I Will Survive" US #1

Salt N Pepa
1987
A: "Tramp"
B: "Push It" US #19

Vanilla Ice
1990
A: "Play That Funky Music" US #4 .... three months after the success of the b-side
B: "Ice Ice Baby" US #1
Interesting. The song that 'started Rock N Roll was a B-side.

Salt N Peppa -- I hate that song. Maybe the A side would have been better.

Vanilla Ice -- so since they were A & B does that make him a 1 hit wonder?

I wonder who got fired for not recognizing the hit?
 

Channel98

Don't yell or hit.
Feb 2, 2019
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I say "the song that started rock 'n' roll" is Jackie Brenston's Rocket 88 from 1951. I'm not alone in thinking that.

On the day my late wife Teri was born in 1962, the number-one song was The Stripper by David Rose. It was the B-side of Ebb Tide – but very few radio stations played the A-side. The B-side became the hit.

 

Aaron

Moderator
Oct 10, 2008
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South Louisiana
Hectic's favorite band, The Smiths. "How Soon is Now" was originally the B side to "William, It was really Nothing". B side won that one.

Then you have Boz Scaggs hit "Lowdown", which wasn't even deemed worthy of B side status, until some DJ started playing it off the album, and it caught on and was later released as a hit single.
 

sadchild

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Mar 28, 2016
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I saw "How Soon Is Now" and "Maggie May", but didn't put them on the list because the A Side also performed well (without needing the B-Side to succeed first).

There are a lot of Beatles singles where both sides were big hits, but I think that's because their philosophy was "release two radio songs on a single" at the time....? But anyhoo, the original post was strictly "The A-Side didn't succeed. Then the B-Side did. (Then maybe the A-Side has success afterward)."

But yeah, it is also interesting when the A-Side does well and then the B-Side unexpectedly does well too (and sometimes is even more remembered, like The Smiths).

I never knew that about "Lowdown". Glad that DJ started playing it, because Boz only has two songs I like and that's one of them!
 
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HecticArt

Administrator
Oct 19, 2008
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I think the Beatles philosophy was (in a proper Liverpool accent) “We just thought we’d wright some songs, ya know. Maybe people will give a listen. Ringo wrote a song about an octopus, ya know.“
 
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